Come Enjoy Vancouver Foodsters Creme Brulee Challenge On Now!

Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth?  If so, why not try out these unique Creme Brulee creations and vote for your favourite?  On now is Vancouver Foodster’s Creme Brulee Challenge.  I am one of 4 judges for this competition.  I will be visiting and making my tasting notes and voting for my favourite.  You should too.  Details of the event are below. Enjoy!


Welcome to the Vancouver Foodster Crème Brulee Challenge. Restaurants and bakeries from all over the city were invited to enter their crème brulee into this challenge, most have created a special crème brulee just for this challenge. Each restaurant and bakery will be featuring their crème brulee on their menu from April 11-30, 2014.

How Does this all Work? For the public challenge, you are invited to go out and order any or all of the creme brulee in this challenge, then you decide who you think has the best creme brulee creation for the People’s Choice award winners. 

Share your experiences: Tweet (and don’t forget to tweet or instagram your photos) throughout the challenge, our twitter and instagram address is @vanfoodster and the hashtag is #CremeChallengeYVR please include this hashtag in all your tweets during the challenge.

Voting criteria –  some things to help you judge your favourite creme brulee creations – keep these things in mind: originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

Get some friends together and make a day or night of it, visit 2 places or more to share and taste the different crème brulee’s or go solo or with a friend– just remember to VOTE for your favourites

Here are the 9 Creme Brulee dishes in this challenge, listed in no particular order other than when they were received by us.

Gramercy Grill

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Chocolate Cherry Creme Brulee

Price: $7

Created by: Chef Dennis Huang

Offered: Nightly after 5pm

Gramercy Grill

2685 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-730-5666


Twitter: @gramercygrill


Cafe One

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Banana Choconutty Crème Brulee

Price: $6

Created by: Pastry Chef Gabriela Gandolfo

Offered: All Day

Cafe One (inside Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver Hotel)

1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604 893 7205


Twitter: @WallCentreHotel


Kingston Taphouse 

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Salted Caramel Apple Creme Brulee

Price: $5

Created by: Chef Simon McLeod

Description:  Caramelized granny smith apples with a salted caramel custard.‎ Finished with a touch of citrus salt.

Offered: all day

Kingston Taphouse and Grille

755 Richards Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-681-7011


Twitter: @TheKingstonPub


The Bakeshop

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Salted Honey Creme Brûlée

Price- $4.75

Created by: Meg Reed

Description: Flaky pastry filled with creamy earl grey creme, finished with a crispy layer of bruleed honey and rock salt

Offered: Tuesday – Friday  8am-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm

The Bakeshop

4021 MacDonald Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-762-2471


Twitter:  @VanBakeshop


Catch 122

krehm broo-LAY

krehm broo-LAY

“krehm broo-LAY”

Price: $7

Description: Cointreau custard, sugar biscuit, lavender meringue, pineapple, mint

Created by: Chef Ian Errington

Offered: all the time

Catch 122

122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-731-3474


Twitter: @catch122


The Apron

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Bread and Butter Crème Brulee

Price: $10

Description: The elegance of a classic vanilla bean Crème Brule mixed with the comfort of bread pudding, served with biscotti

Created by: Chefs Robert Uy, Michael Stavely and team

Offered: Dinner 5pm – 11pm

The Apron

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565


Twitter: @apronyvr


Novo Pizzeria

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Toasted Hazelnut Creme Brûlée

Price: $8

Description: Frangelico Ganache, rosemary & pine nut cookies, orange granita

Created by:  Carmine Paradiso and Charles Richard

Available:  All the time

Novo Pizzeria

2118 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel:    (604) 736-2220


Twitter:   @NOVOPizzeria


Bella Gelateria

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Price: $5.50

Description: Creme Brûlée and Cardamon Gelato

Created by: Gelaterie Maestro James Coleridge

Offered: All day, everyday

Bella Gelateria

1001 W Cordova St, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-1010


Twitter: @bellagelateria


A Bread Affair

Apple Apple Wood Smoked Bacon & Maple Creme Brulee

Price: $5.95


Local Okanagan apples, Oyama Applewood Smoked Bacon &

Maples Maple Syrup Creme Brulee

Created by: Chef Chams Sbouai

Offered: Daily 7:30am – 7pm

A Bread Affair

1680 Johnson Street (on Granville Island), Vancouver

Tel: (604) 514-2353


Twitter: @breadaffair

Make sure you pick up one of the Crème Brulee Challenge postcards available at each of the participating restaurants and bakeries and keep a record of your favourite Crème Brulee dishes. Remember to Vote for your favourites daily, all the voting details are at

Our Media judges for this challenge are:

Stephanie Yuen

Food Writer. Author. Broadcaster. Blogger for many publications including her own

Twitter: @stephyuenyuen

Karl Kliparchuk

Wine, Food & Travel Writer for his own

Twitter: @MyWinePal

Joyce Lam

Food Blogger for her own

Twitter: @vanfoodies

Jeremy Inglett

Food Blogger for his own

Twitter: @JeremyInglett

Tasting Plates Vancouver Ultimate Desserts on April 14

Apple crumble with ice cream

Apple crumble with ice cream

Creamy, silky smooth, vanilla, fruit, totally indulgent, and that is just one dessert.  Think about if you were able to try indulgent desserts at different restaurants, cafes and bakeries in Vancouver? Well you can through an upcoming Tasting Plates event, hosted by Vancouver Foodster.  The event on April 14, will sell out fast, so get your tickets soon.  Vancouver Foodster’s press release is below.


Vancouver, BC – Prepare to experience a new kind of Tasting Plates event, this time guest will indulge in dessert at many different restaurants, cafes and bakeries around Vancouver. This tasting extravaganza goes from 2pm until 5:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant, cafe and bakery will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating establishments.

  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.
  • From sweets to savoury desserts along with hot chocolate, juices, tea and coffees
  • Visit each of the participating restaurants,cafes and bakeries at your leisure by bike, moped, car, transit, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

Registration: Rocanini Coffee Roasters at 127 West 5th Avenue -this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating restaurants:

  • Bella Gelateria
  • WE. Coffee 
  • Beta 5 Chocolates 
  • Bob Likes Thai Food 
  • Rocanini Roasters
  • The Bibo 
  • Vancouver Pie Hole
  • Trees Organic 

more restaurants and bakeries may be announced soon. Click below
For additional details about each participating eatery

Purchase tickets via Eventbrite:
Advance Tickets: $35 per person (eventbrite fee extra). $115 for 4 pak of tickets or $150 for 6 pak of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pak or a 6 pak (eventbrite fee extra). Regular Tickets $45 per person (eventbrite fee extra) after April 11. Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants, cafes and bakeries throughout the event.

“When I first started Vancouver Foodster over 3-1/2 years ago, it was because I had a great passion for food and wanted to share it with the public,” explains Richard Wolak, Editor and Publisher of Vancouver Foodster. ‘Tasting Plates Vancouver’ is a chance for people to try something different, foods from restaurants, food trucks, cafés and bakeries in Vancouver!” Richard Wolak

Banana Bread with Vidal Icewine Pairing

Today I made a batch of banana bread and thought about what to pair it with. Sifting through my memory, I thought that Mission Hill Winery’s Vidal Icewine (or their Late Harvest) would fit the bill. The Vidal grape has a honey and tropical fruit aroma and flavour. Banana from the banana bread is a tropical fruit, so it should mesh beautifully. While the bread is cooling, I am writing this article.

In case you would like to try this pairing, here is the recipe that I use for banana bread. It comes from the “Centennial Cookbook” and the recipe is by a lady named Lil Karpyshyn. I’ve made a few modifications, to make the recipe my own.

Picture courtesy of Bread Recipe

1.25 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
dash of vanilla
3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups mashed bananas (2.5 bananas)
1/4 cup raisins

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla till creamy. Slowly add in oil. In a separate bowl, mix flour, making soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix in the mashed bananas and the raisins. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes. Test with a toothpick. It should come out dry.

Indulge and enjoy with the Vidal Icewine!

My Favorite Wines in 2010 – MyWinePal Blog Selection

Wines change yearly with each new vintage. That’s one thing that makes tasting wine exciting. What wines did I try this past year, 2010, that made my favorite list?  I went through the list and noted that I recommended approximately 111 different wines this year.  The wines below are the ones I’ve selected from my BLOG.  I also have a wine selection from my main website.  I’ll post that separately.

From the 111 different wines my favorites for 2010 are:

White Wine

Domaine Comte-Senard Corton-Charlemagne 2006 (Burgundy). This wine was medium to deep lemon in the glass. Lemon vanilla, wood, and butterscotch on the nose. Medium body, with lemon, woody, earthy, and nutmeg aromas. Quite complex. Medium acidity which nicely balanced the fruit in this wine.

Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Marlborough, NZ) is a very elegant wine. Oak, lemon and herbal on the nose. Big legs from a higher alcohol content, but the wine is balanced by the fruit so not hot on the palate. It does have nice herbal and lemon flavours with good acidity, not too strong.

Church & States Wines Chardonnay 2007 (BC) is medium lemon colour. Nice apricot nose. Vanilla, sweet spice, pineapple and apricot flavours, with a bit of spice. Lots of flavours coming out the glass the more you swirled it around in your mouth.

Van Westen Vineyards Vivacious 2008 (BC) is Pinot Blanc with a hint of Pinot Gris, again has peachy fruit as well as some apricot aromas. Good acidity. Peach and apricot flavours with a touch of greenness.

La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009 (BC), is light lemon in colour. Flowery and apple aromas. Good acidity with a bit of residual sugar. Red apple and citrus flavours. Elegant.

Sperling Vineyards Pinot Gris 2008 (BC). This is a new winery in Kelowna, BC. No tasting room yet, but they are located near the Tantalus winery. Pale lemon in colour. A very nice nose with grapefruit and flowers. Medium body, high acidity, with flavours of lemon rind, flowers and some spice.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay 2008 (Washington) was very elegant.  This wine was medium golden in the glass. Vanilla, oak, lemon and apple aromas.  It was medium body with toasty, lemon and light spice on the palate.  Light acidity to complement the roundness of the wine.  Spice and lemon on the finish.

Red Wine

Howling Bluff Estate Pinot Noir 2008 (BC). New world style, with ripe strawberry and cherry aromas with a bit of sweet spice and vanilla. Silky on the palate with vanilla, cherry, and raspberry flavours.

Dominique Laurent Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes” 1er Cru (Burgundy). I was told that Dominique Laurent is a bit of a controversial producer in Burgundy in that he buys wine and “elevates” it through the use of oak aging before bottling. His wines have his stamp or “signature” on them. Some enjoy having a wine with a certain style, while others do not. I did enjoy this wine. It was deep garnet in colour. Complex nose with dark cherry, liquor, slight smoke and vanilla aromas. Drying tannins but very fine grained. Medium body. Cherry flavour with slight spice on the finish.

Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux AOC 2007 (Bordeaux). This wine was a blend of 60% Merlot / 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was deep purple coloured in the glass. Meaty, dark cherry, cassis, and vanilla aromas. Full bodied, with ripe cherries, vanilla, and medium fine tanning. It had a very nice cherry finish and a long length.

Chateau de Gironville, Haut-Medoc AOC 2007 (Bordeaux) is a blend of 45% Merlot / 45% Cabernet Sauvignon / 10% Petit Verdot. Opaque purple in the glass (courtesy of the Petit Verdot). A very aromatic nose. Lots of coffee of black cherry. On the palate you get firm tannins, with black cherry, coffee, and vanilla flavours. Full body with long length.

Vina Maipo Syrah (Chile).  It is 85% Syrah with 15% Carmenere.  Deep purple in colour.  An interesting nose with vanilla, rubber and purple fruit.  Dry tannins.  Blueberries show up mid-palate, and cherries on the finish.  A bit of pepper and vanilla.  It has good tannic structure for the fruit to hang.

Ata Rangi ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir 2008 (Waiparapa – New Zealand). Light cherry colour. Raspberry aroma. Red cherry and raspberry flavours. Soft tannins. Very elegant.

Panther Creek Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2006 (Oregon) is light cherry coloured. Smoky, strawberry aromas. Earthy, cherry flavours, with a bit of spiciness and low tannins.

Villa Maria Estate Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir (New Zealand) was medium garnet in the glass. A very pretty raspberry and plum nose. Raspberry, leafy, cherry flavours. Slightly spicy. Silky on the palate.

Le Vieux Pin Syrah / Viognier 2008 (BC). This Syrah / Viognier was deep purple in the glass, with aromas of vanilla, blueberry, plum and honeysuckle. On the palate you get ripe plum, black cherry and vanilla. Quite spicy, round in the mouth and long length.

Man O’ War Merlot / Cabernet / Franc / Malbec 2008 (New Zealand). The blend for this wine is 42% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium purple/garnet in colour. Smoky with black cherry and tar aromas. Black cherry, cassis, and vanilla flavours. It was medium plus in body with medium silky tannins and good acidity to balance the fruit. Very nicely done. It had a long length with a dry cherry finish. A quality wine that coated the glass.

Travaglini Giancarolo Gattinara DOCG 2005 (Italy) was a light cherry / tea colour in the glass. Tea leaves, strawberries, cedar and slight oak on the nose. Light body, with medium mouthfeel. Good fruit, with flavours of plum and cherries. The tannins were firm but refined. Dry finish with medium length.

La Frenz Reserve Pinot Noir 2008. (BC). This wine won a Silver in the Northwest Wine Summit this year, and two Gold medals at the Northwest Wine Summit in 2009. It had a nice smoky, strawberry nose with a hint of oak. Light body with strawberry and cherry flavours. Silky with low tannins. Long length with a cherry finish. Buy it before it is all sold out.

Nicol Vineyards Syrah 2008 (BC) is opaque purple in the glass. Vanilla and sweet dark fruit nose. Raspberries, red cherries, blueberries and a bit of minerality on the palate. Soft tannins. I do enjoy a syrah when the blueberry characteristic of the grape is detectable.

Bodega Noemia J Alberto 2008 (Argentina). This is a single vineyard Malbec. The vineyard and winery is certified biodynamic. This wine is deep purple in the glass. A very interesting nose with aromas of cassis, tar and cherries. Full bodied with a smooth round mouthfeel. Cassis, black plum, black cherry and quite spicy on the palate.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Washington).  Ethos is the top tier wine level from Chateau Ste Michelle.  The wine is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, and 3% Syrah. The wine is deep garnet in colour.  A nice nose, with aromas of capsicum, cherry, and meat.  Round on the palate with soft tannins.  Meaty, cassis, black cherry, and chocolate flavours.  The wine went through a very light filtering before being bottled, so don’t be surprised to see a bit of sediment in your glass.

Fortified / Dessert Wine

Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling Ice Wine 2006 (Washington). This wine was made in conjunction with Dr. Loosen from Germany. The Riesling grapes were harvested from their Horse Heaven Vineyard on Oct 31, which according to Chateau Ste Michelle is very rare.  This is only the fifth time in their 40 year history that this has occurred.  The wine was a medium golden colour in the glass.  Petrol, flowers, lemon nose.  Very pretty. Medium body, with a wonderful lime flavour, petrol, and good acidity to balance the sugar and fruit.  Medium sweetness.  Lovely lime finish.

Sparkling Wine

Moreson, Blanc de Blancs Brut Method Cap Classic, South Africa. This is 100% Chardonnay. A very fine bubble. Red apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. Long finish. Nice.

Enjoy this selection and stay tuned for my next blog article, where I will cover my wine selections from the main website.

An abbreviated list of wines for the holidays

Isn’t technology lovely? Sometimes you spend a long time writing a long blog about wines for the holidays and it doesn’t get saved! Well that just happened to me, so please enjoy this very short version of my wine recommendations.

Wines to take to a host/hostess. Try a wine they would not normally buy but would enjoy. Try a champagne (from France. Try Bollinger, Lanson, Krug, or Taittinger), or a sparkling wine (e.g. a cremant from France, a prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, or a New World sparkling, such as Gloria Ferrer from Napa Valley, or Lindauer from New Zealand).

An ice wine could also be a nice gift. Riesling ice wines are the best in my opinion as the high acidity of this grape complements the sweetness from the grape. Mission Hill and Quails Gate in the BC Okanagan have nice ice wines.

With dinner, assuming you have a turkey feast, try a lightly oaked chardonnay, or a lighter bodied pinot noir. On the chardonnay side try a wine from Deloach in California, Mission Hill Reserve from the Okanagan, or Evans and Tate from Australia. For a pinot noir, try Quails Gate or Mission Hill from the Okanagan, or Villa Maria or Kim Crawford from New Zealand.

People also like fortified / dessert wines. Buller makes a nice Muscat (Australia). You may try a port from Portugal, such as from Quinta do Portal. A full bodied Oloroso Sherry from Spain from Gonzalez Byass.

Enjoy the wines and enjoy the holidays!